Is Senator Elizabeth Warren A ‘Pretendian’?

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, stands accused of being a “Pretendian” by an influential writer of Native American heritage.

According to Prof. William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection blog, Terese Mailhot of the Canadian First Peoples is the equivalent of Native American in the U.S.

“So many Indigenous women I admire have come to the defense of Warren, and it feels ugly to say anything against them, but when did being a Pretendian become better than being a racist?,” Mailhot wrote.

Elizabeth Warren, who is being touted as a possible vice presidential candidate for her party, is a favorite of progressives and Bernie Sanders supporters, although she has not endorsed either Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

Separately, Warren has also claimed that she doesn’t believe in superdelegates (unelected party insiders who get to vote at the upcoming DNC presidential nominating convention) even though admitting that she is nonetheless attending the convention as a superdelegate, Politico reported.

“Warren is probably the most popular and recognizable Democrat in the country apart from President Obama, Joe Biden, and Clinton herself…But the real reason Warren is dominating the conversation is simple: The rest of Clinton’s options are very, very weak,” Vox claimed about who will become Hillary Clinton’s running mate, assuming Clinton manages to get the nomination despite the Sanders insurgency.


Related story: Is Bernie Sanders A One-Percenter?


The senator and GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump have recently been engaged in a war of words on Twitter and on the campaign trail. Warren has blasted Trump for being a bully, a money grubber, and building his campaign on racism, sexism, and homophobia.

In a callback to her 2012 contest against then-Sen. Scott Brown, Trump has among other things dismissively referred to her as Pocahontas.

Elizabeth Warren insisted at the time that she was 1/32 Cherokee, but no corroboration of the validity of this claim has emerged. There are also allegations that Warren nonetheless used her “minority” status to obtain important law teaching positions at several Ivy League universities under affirmative action.

“While a teacher at the University of Texas, she listed herself as ‘white.’ But between 1986 and 1995, she listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty; the University of Pennsylvania in a 2005 “minority equity report” also listed her as one of the minority professors who had taught at its law school. The head of the committee that brought Warren to Harvard Law School said talk of Native American ties was not a factor in recruiting her to the prestigious institution,” The Atlantic recalled.

While denouncing Trump as a racist idiot and a “walking stool sample,” Terese Mailhot asserted in the above-referenced essay published by Indian Country Today that she found Elizabeth Warren far more offensive.

“Trump’s limited vocabulary limited his criticisms of Warren’s claim to Native ancestry to calling her ‘Pocahontas.’ How he offended her, while offensive to me, is secondary to the true offense of Warren. While his constant refrain of Warren’s claims to Native ancestry is in true form of a troll, he brings to light the shame she carries in her inability to produce anything substantial on her claims to being Native.”

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Mailhot continued her analysis of the box-checking, so-called Pretendian.

“Let’s face it, Warren cashed in on being Native. She checked the box, like so many Pretendians do, without living the struggle, acknowledging the struggle, or connecting with her people. To be honest, I’m more offended by Warren than Trump…But Warren, this woman claimed to be Native when it counted on a box, then did nothing with it…Being Native is more than checking a box. I know Native people displaced from their own land, living in Oakland, who cling to anything linking them to their past. The struggle is real for Natives displaced, and it’s not real to Warren…”

Read the entire article and draw your own conclusions.

During the 2012 campaign controversy over her background, Warren foes mocked her with the term “fauxcahontas.”

At the time, Politico reported that a 1997 issue of the Fordham Law Review described Elizabeth Warren as the first woman of color on the Harvard Law School faculty.

A foe of income inequality, Warren reportedly earned about $350,000 each year to teach one course at Harvard in the 2010-2011 time frame, at the same time collecting a $165,000 stipend as a consultant to the Obama administration, the Boston Globe detailed. “Warren’s compensation puts her in the top echelon of American earners.”

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“Warren, the Harvard bankruptcy law professor elected to the Senate in 2012, is worth between $3.7 million and $10 million. That’s not including the three-story Victorian home in Cambridge, Mass., that she owns with her husband and fellow Harvard law professor, Bruce Mann. It’s now assessed at $1.9 million, according to city property records,” CNN explained in January 2015

According to radio host/Boston Herald columnist and Trump supporter Howie Carr, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren has criticized Donald Trump for seeking to purchase real estate when the price was low, but records show that [she] made nearly $250,000 in the 1990s flipping houses she bought on the cheap.”

Do you think that Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a Pretendian?

[Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP]